A FaceBook friend requested my carrot cake recipe – I figured if I was going to type it up, I might as well share it with you all! I haven’t made this in a couple years, but looking it up has me thinking it would be a nice way to herald spring…This is also a good opportunity to show you how I would make a typical recipe more nourishing and healthy. I will give my substitutes in italics. As far as I know, there is no substitute for that heaven-in-you-mouth cream cheese frosting…
1 1/2 c. sugar (sucanut)
1/4 c. oil (butter!)
1/4 c. orange juice (yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. flour (whole wheat pastry flour)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups coarsely shredded carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
1 1Lb. package confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 to 2 tsp. milk
1/2 c. pecan halves for garnish (optional)
1. Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. In a large bowl with mixer on high speed, beat eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice, and vanilla until combined. Reduce speed to low and beat in the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until the batter is smooth. Gently fold in carrots. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
2. Bake the cakes 30 min. or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 5 min. Remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely on the racks.
3. Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting: In a medium sized bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth.
4. To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread the top with 1/3 cup of the frosting. Place the other cake layer on top of the first. Spread the top and side of the cake with the remaining frosting. Arrange the pecans in a circle along the top border of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Soaking directions (to get a fluffier result with the whole wheat flour and make it more digestible): Mix flour, sugar, melted butter, vanilla, shredded carrots, and a 1/4 cup yogurt. Cover and let set on counter 8 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, mix eggs, cinnamon, baking powder, soda, and salt into batter, and proceed with the recipe as above.